Riot Recommendation

Riot Recommendation: 19 of Your Favorite Crime Thrillers with Badass Female Leads

Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

Vanessa is a writer, reader and generally bookish Latina from San Diego. If loving Agatha Christie is wrong, she doesn't want to be right. Vanessa’s penchant for books, travel and tea is rivaled only by her serious addictions to milk, avocado and floral lattes. When not reading books or selling them, she can be found blogging, working on her first novel or cozying up at a library.

Grand Central Publishing and Iris Johansen’s CHAOS.

CIA agent Alisa Flynn is willing to go rogue if it means catching the most heartless band of criminals she's ever encountered. In a ripped-from-the-headlines plot, schoolgirls in Africa have been kidnapped, and Alisa knows that billionaire Gabe Korgan has the courage, financial means, and high-tech weaponry to help rescue them. With additional assistance from renowned horse whisperer Margaret Douglas, Alisa and Gabe lay their rescue plans, only to see them descend into chaos. But with the help of a brave team and a horse with the heart of a warrior, they might just get out of this alive.

We love a pulse-pounding crime read on its own: the mystery, the action, the thrill of—hopefully—solving the case and bringing the bad guys to justice. Now throw in an ass-kicking, name-taking female lead and we’re furiously adding to cart! That’s why we asked you for your favorite crime thrillers with badass female leads! You gave us a mix of standalone books and series to plow through. Thanks for badassifying our TBRs!

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

The In Death series by JD Robb

Follow Her Home by Steph Cha

Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

The Jaguar Addams series by B.A. Chepaitis

The Kate Shugack series by Dana Stabenow

The Kay Scarpett series by Patricia Cornwell

Killing It by Asia Mackay

The Likeness by Tana French

The Lisbeth Salander books by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz

The Mallory series by Carol O’Connell

Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Trail of Echoes by Rachel Howell Hall

Queenpin by Megan Abbott

The V. I. Warshawsk books by Sara Paretsky